Dylan O'Connell reports from Turners Cross
Neale Fenn’s first game in charge at Cork ended in disappointment as a spirited City side went down4-2 by Sligo Rovers at Turners Cross.
Two goals apiece from Romeo Parks and Ronan Coughlan were enough to seal the result on Leeside, as Dan Casey and Shane Griffin provided some small moments of joy for the home support.
City had the best of the early chances, as Karl Sheppard found Eoghan Stokes with a nice through ball but the physical presence of John Mahon blocked Stokes’ attempted bicycle kick.
When the game looked like it was turning into a scrap for possession in the centre of the mark, Sligo snatched an unlikely lead through Parks. John Russell played a major part by making an impressive run that saw the parting of the City defense through the middle with a through ball, allowing Parks to face goal and knock it past Mark McNulty.
In an instant response by City, the home side drew level as Dan Casey rose highest from a Daire O’Connor corner to pull it back level.
Ronan Coughlan put the Bit O’Red ahead once again though on the stroke of half time with a neat finish into the Shed End. Parks grabbed the assist, holding it up in front of goal and eventually playing it through to the attacking midfielder, allowing for the neatest of finishes past McNulty.
The half time disappointment did nothing to deter the energy of City. Minutes after the restart, Joel Coustrain picked off Stokes facing goal, with the swarming presence of Ed McGinty clawing it away.
Crossing was City’s hope as they pushed forward in numbers. Colm Horgan darting forward teamed up with Stokes, in a move that looked assured to pull City back level, but the finest of margins saw the headed ball drop wide.
Sligo grabbed another through an excellent counter from Kris Twardek and Parks. The wide men’s dribbling outwitted a pushing City, allowing for a cross to Parks who buried it into the roof of the net.
With a two goal cushion, the Bit O’Red sat back deep waiting for the break thereafter. Through the pressure, David Cawley was allowed break and play it across goal for Parks who blasted it over the bar.
Cork City did pull one back in spectacular fashion. A running Shane Griffin caught the top right corner into the Shed End, as the winger powered it into the net from thirty five yards.
Coughlan killed the game at the 90th minute, as the former City midfielder capitalized on a mistake by McNulty in goal to slot in at the right side to make it 4-2.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Colm Horgan (Josh Honohan 70’), Alan Bennett, Eoghan Stokes (Alex Byrne 85’), Conor McCormack, Garry Buckley, Daire O’Connor (Mark O’Sullivan 54’), Karl Sheppard, Shane Griffin, Joel Coustrain, Dan Casey.
Subs not used: Tadhg Ryan, Beinon O’Brien Whitmarsh, Dale Holland, Darragh Crowley.
Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty, Lewis Banks, Regan Donelon (Niall Morahan 65’), Kyle McFadden, Ronan Coughlan, Daryl Fordyce, Kris Twardek, John Russell, John Mahon, David Cawley, Romeo Parks.
Subs not used: Sam Warde, Niall Watson, Brian Morley, Luke McNicholas, Dante Leverock.
Booking: Kyle McFadden (Yellow Card), David Cawley (Yellow Card)
Referee: Robert Harvey.